Excellent student service + real job connections = successful students


The current focus in higher education is on improving student service. It’s in every institution’s strategic plan. It’s in marketing literature and admissions packets. And it’s on the minds of all student leaders and staff in every department on campus.

But what real steps can we take to improve student service?

For years now, institutions have turned to a one-stop shop model as a tactic to address the issue, and many have found success. Students quickly learn where they can go for that one place with answers to almost all their questions. It simplifies the student experience and increases student satisfaction and – even more importantly – student retention.

But setting up a one-stop shop is not easy. Sometimes it involves reorganizing offices, rearranging desk spaces, opening up walls and moving records and file cabinets in order to create a feeling of openness – while still allowing for privacy. More importantly, it requires the cross-training of staff across systems and data in order to have the extensive knowledge and access to the information required to answer the intricacies of student questions.

And if that is your job, exactly how many systems do you need to look at to answer the questions of a student who is right in front of you? It turns out, the answer could start with the student.

Connecting students with real jobs

More than a year ago, Hyland worked with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) on a special project to set up a training program – The OnBase Start Initiative. This initiative focuses on training new OnBase system administrators, as the need for these strategic technical resources continues to increase, and then directly connecting them with organizations that have open positions.

With my long history in higher education, you can imagine how proud I was when I heard we were working with Tri-C to create this program to help students get real jobs. This is a shining example of community colleges at their best.

As if on cue, during a meeting to discuss this student-facing offering, someone from Tri-C asked if we had any technology that would help them support their One Door Initiative. The institution needed something that could aggregate data from multiple systems on campus – critical systems like Banner by Ellucian, Ellucian Degree Works and Blackboard Learn – into a single view that staff in those one-stop-shop offices could use to answer questions.

That’s exactly what our case management solution does. By the way, guess whose students are familiar with it?

Putting student’s answers in “one record”

Now, when students approach an office on campus with a list of questions that spans the board, including class registration, fees, billing, and even the balance on their Tri-C card, the answers are all viewed in one place – Tri-C’s OneRecord system built with OnBase.

It’s genius, really. They store all the key data in those systems of record we mentioned above but view it in just one place. It’s available to anyone serving the student and it is paired with any documents staff might need to view on a student (past transcripts, permissions, authorizations, etc.) – extra functionality that is the reason to invest in enterprise content management in the first place.

Tri-C did its homework, too, setting a great example for students. Staff poured through all the data in these systems of record, interviewed countless colleagues and determined how to put the right amount of data within this view so staff see what they need – without making it complicated.

It wasn’t an easy test, but they passed with flying colors.

Cuyahoga Community College has inspirational goals to improve student service and increase graduation rates. It is getting accolades in so many places for this project and it has brought the institution together with a laser focus to help every student on his or her path to a degree.

And all of this came just in time. Tri-C was ready to serve students looking for a new home after the closing of ITT Tech. Their achievements are remarkable and Cleveland is proud.

We’re so proud, in fact, we asked CIO, Jerry Hourigan and the Deputy CIO, Standish Stewart of Tri-C to join us in a live Social Media Chat on October 13, 2016. Please join us!

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more than 20 years of experience working to map proven solutions to higher education challenges, Laurel implemented ERP solutions at Dickinson College and University of Oregon Foundation before joining the sales and marketing team at Datatel, now Ellucian, Inc. Laurel offers a deep understanding of higher education, dedication to transparency and a fondness for candid conversations about the solutions Hyland develops and delivers to the market. You may reach her at Laurel.Stiller at onbase.com.

Laurel Stiller

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more... read more about: Laurel Stiller